The Path to Teaching ESL Abroad
Step 1: Becoming a Certified ESL Teacher
TEFL Course Quality
Choosing a foreign language teaching accreditation course can be overwhelming. How do you choose the right TESOL/TEFL/TESL course?
Some criteria to consider when choosing a TEFL or TESOL course:
- How long is the course?
Most employers are looking for certification of 100 hours or more.
- Does the course include an evaluation of your teaching practice?
Knowing teaching theory is important, but receiving proper feedback and assessment is essential, especially for those just starting in the teaching profession. An evaluation at the end of your course will highlight your strengths, list areas for improvement, and summarize your skills.
- Are job placement services provided?
Your ESL certification program should have a proven track record in assisting and placing graduates in positions. Job placement services will assist in choosing an institution, contract negotiation, pre-departure preparation, and post-arrival planning.
- Is the program legitimate?
Can you contact a representative of the program to ask questions and seek job placement advice? Are textbooks and actual teaching resources provided? Are testimonials from past students available?
- Does the program provide value for money?
The cost of the program should align with the skills/resources the program will provide you to ensure your professional goals are met.
CCELT TEFL Certification
Length and Course Content
The CCELT 100-hour TEFL course is comprised of both online and in-class components. The in-class components are rich with interactive learning and useful teaching methodologies, arming you with a vast selection of popular classroom activities, lesson plans, and teaching strategies. After acquiring the tools to create a productive learning environment, you will have time to design and present numerous ESL lessons, receive continual feedback, and at the end of the course you receive a complete teaching practicum evaluation.
The course takes a holistic approach to instruction, and all aspects of teaching ESL are covered:
- Teaching Areas – grammar, tenses, speaking, reading, writing, listening, and more
- Multiple Intelligences – catering to all learning styles
- Differentiated Teaching – allows access to all levels of English proficiency
- Second Language Acquisition – what you can expect from ESL learners
Resources and Materials
CCELT prides itself on providing current students and alumni with a constantly evolving database of resources, that includes lesson plans, lesson activities, resources for teaching pedagogy, behaviour management strategies, and creative and interactive classroom ideas. CCELT offers students access to an online community that connects ESL teachers around the world – an extensive global support network! All CCELT teachers also receive an ESL-focused textbook for future reference.
All CCELT TESL instructors have firsthand industry experience teaching abroad. They are dedicated to providing the skills required to become an effective ESL teacher, and they are happy to share their experiences so CCELT graduates know exactly what to expect while working in the ESL industry.
Graduate Placement Services
CCELT maintains strong partnerships with North America’s leading teacher placement agencies, meaning CCELT teachers are given access to excellent teaching jobs in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Europe. A wide range of positions are available in public and private institutions at the kindergarten, elementary, high school, college/university and adult levels to cater to everyone’s career aspirations.
Step 2: Your Dream ESL Teaching Job
Being open-minded and flexible is key when you are researching teaching jobs abroad. Your own research combined with the job placement advice provided by CCELT representatives will provide you with a realistic view of the ESL teaching job market and how you can find a job that suits your needs. While researching teaching jobs abroad, ask yourself the following questions to ensure your expectations are met both professionally and personally:
- Will the salary accommodate my lifestyle, and how does it compare to the cost of living?
- Am I eligible for a visa/work permit in the country where I want to work?
- What are the living conditions and typical workplace expectations?
- Are the political and economic climates stable in this country/region?
- Does this destination offer travel and tourist opportunities?
- Do the climate and environment accommodate my extra-curricular activities?
Step 3: Applying for Jobs and Interviews
Each overseas teaching job you apply for will have different requirements, and may even have a different application process. In order to prepare for the application process, it is a good idea to revise and polish your resume, compose an outstanding cover letter that you can tailor for each application, and brush up on your interview skills. Some tips for interviewing:
- Dress appropriately: whether you interview over the phone or in person, it is important to dress your best and feel professional.
- Prepare yourself: have some good examples of your experience, enthusiasm, or skills prepared so you feel confident in your answers.
- Research: learn more about the school or organization before your interview so you can ask informed questions and show your interest in the job.
- Take a deep breath: relax, and treat the interview as a time to learn more about the job in addition to demonstrating your interest and qualifications.
Step 4: A Recruitment Agency vs. Flying Solo
Finding an international teaching job that you would like to apply for is often the easiest part of the process. After you find a job that interests you, then comes the application process, contract negotiation, document organization and the pre-departure preparations to make the transition from your home country to your new teaching job abroad.
With a teacher placement service, you are guided through each process both verbally and in written form to minimize anxiety and hassle, and to make sure you don’t run into any unexpected challenges. Should you choose to work with our recruitment partners, you will receive ongoing, friendly, and professional support throughout the application and interview process, while you prepare to depart, and even while you teach abroad.
Below are some of the steps you will need to complete on your own, or with assistance from our teacher placement partners:
Applying for a Teaching Job Overseas
- Update and polish resume
- Write tailored cover letter
- Submit application with all required documents
- Prepare for interview: conduct research & prepare questions
- Set up interviews with school/organization
- Vet and verify school
- Verify salary, benefits, and additional details
- Determine whether the position is a good fit
- Provide school/employer with all required documents
- Authenticate/certify required documents for visa/work permit
- Apply for visa/work permit (unless provided by employer)
- Arrange arrival date with school/employer
- Make packing list (take into account climate of destination country, dress code of new workplace, and airline baggage allowance)
- Plan for arrival and job start date
* More information below
Step 5: Personal Pre-departure Preparation
Before you step on the plane at the start of your international adventure, there are many things that will need to be arranged. It’s a great idea to create a “To Do” list and consider some of the items listed below.
- The country you are moving to
- The appropriate etiquette while in public
- Laws of the country you are moving to
- Learn a bit of the language (day-to-day phrases)
- Clubs or activities you can become involved with
- Travel and tourist sites you would like to visit
- Options for travel insurance
- Any necessary vaccinations
Create a back-up document archive (useful in the event your documents are lost, stolen or damaged):
- Driver’s licence
- Birth certificate
Financial and legal matters:
- Arrange payment of debt in home country
- Cancel automatic money transfers (gym membership, phone contract, etc.)
- Inform bank and credit card companies of your travel plans
- Plan to bring some money for arrival and survival until first paycheque
- Finalize any legal proceedings in which you are involved
- Dental check
- Fill prescriptions for length of your contract
- Doctor’s note explaining each medicine (and any required authentication of doctor’s notes)
Step 6: Arrival and Settling In
Arrival in your destination country is an exciting and intense time, one that will have you experiencing the full spectrum of emotions. To ensure that this transition goes smoothly, make sure you have the arrangement details for your airport pickup and the contact number of your school. Set about making your accommodations your home, and familiarize yourself with the local area.
Speak with the other foreign teachers at your school, don’t be afraid to ask questions about general life, and get involved with any extracurricular activities with your students or colleagues. Bite the bullet and make the necessary arrangements: bank account, driver’s license, and internet/telephone services, so you can function as a regular and focus on enjoying your new lifestyle and job.
This is an amazing adventure that you have embarked upon, and whether you are a seasoned teacher or brand new to the career it takes courage, motivation, and dedication to move abroad and start a new life and job. Great work!
Step 7: Teaching ESL Abroad
You’ve made it! Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions that a person can choose. The first time you stand in front of a group of students will see you again awash with many emotions: excitement, elation, and nerves! As a CCELT graduate, you have the tools to confidently prepare and deliver your lessons, so take a deep breath and step right up!
Make sure you are conscientious when preparing your lessons so you can feel comfortable and confident with your lesson content, in order to allow more time to interact freely with your new students. This is the time where you can take the theory of student-centered learning, multiple intelligences, and behaviour management, and put them all into practice.